Charlotte Goldeman, PhD student14. December 2017

  • Why did you become a scientist?

    The unsolved mysteries of nature and the human body have always intrigued me. The fact that only 20 % of the brain is mapped and accounted for fascinates me. To have a chance to be one of the people to elucidate some of the functions and mechanisms of the brain is a fantastic opportunity and I wanted to be part of solving some of the big questions about the blood-brain barrier and drug transport across this barrier. The blood-brain barrier represents an enormous hurdle in development of drugs for diseases of the central nervous system, which motivates me to go into the laboratory. 

  • Can you tell us about your career path to date?

    I have a Bachelor’s - and Master’s degree in Pharmacy from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.  During my Bachelor I basically lived in the laboratory, learning how to make, develop and characterize drug formulations. During my Master’s, I specialized in the characterization of receptor systems expressed in the blood-brain barrier, which can be exploited as a potential route for drug delivery into the brain. After defending my master thesis I worked as a research assistant, where I focused on in vitro models of the blood brain barrier using human stem cells.    

  • What are you working on at the moment?

    As a PhD student, I am focusing on developing and characterizing in vitro models of the blood-brain barrier using human induced pluripotent stem cells. At present, in vitro blood-brain barrier research is largely restricted to cells of animal origin, however, due to species differences, data generated from these models can be difficult to extrapolate to humans. A human blood-brain barrier model is therefore highly sought by both academia and industry.

  • What are your research plans for the next five years?

    Hopefully I will be able to successfully implement and use human induced pluripotent stem cells in in vitro modeling of the blood-brain barrier as well as establish a valid model for use in drug screening. When I finish my PhD I will hopefully be able to continue working within the field of brain research and drug development.

  • What do you do when you are not working?

    When I am not working, I like to take care of my vegetable garden, and when the weather is horrible (which is often here in Denmark), I enjoy reading books. I just finished the Exorcist and plan to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula next.